The following Geographical from the Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, by Samuel Lewis, transcribed & compiled by Teena.
a parish in the union of Cookstown, barony of Dungannon, 3 miles (W. By N.) from Cookstown, and on the road from Omagh to Belfast, containing 8192 inhabitants. This parish anciently formed part of the O’HAGAN’S country and subsequently belonged to the earls of Tyrone by whose rebellion it was forfeited; in 1638 it was granted by Charles I. to R. RICHARDSON Esq. whose descendant, Captain W. Stewart RICHARDSON is the present proprietor. It comprises 26,251½ statute acres; part of the land is under an excellent system of cultivation. The mountain tracts consist of sienite, granite, quartz and basalt and in the valleys are found clay-slate, limestone, coal and valuable freestone. The principal seats are, Oaklands, the residence of the RICHARDSON family; Drumshambo and Wellbrook. A manorial court for Manor Richardson is held at Legnacash the 2nd Monday in every month, for the recovery of debts under 40s. At Wellbrook is a large bleach-green. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh and in the patronage of the Lord Primate; the tithe rent-charge is £265.10. The church is a large and handsome building with a lofty square tower erected in 1818 and for which the Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £1200 and £200 were raised by assessment; it was lately repaired by aid of a grant of £151 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The glebe-house was built by aid of a gift of £100 in 1791 from the Board of First Fruits; the glebes consist of 862 acres, of which 225 are unprofitable land. The Roman Catholic parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church and has a small plain chapel at Killanan and another at Dunamore. At Oritor is a Presbyterian meeting-house in connexion with the General Assembly and there are various schools in the parish, to one of which the Rev. R. STEWART gave £50 and two acres of land. The ruins of the old church are about a mile eastward from the present church; it was burnt in the war of 1641 but restored in 1698 and used for divine service till 1818. Here are also the ruins of Maheraglass priory, which was founded by Terence O’HAGAN in 1242 and fortified by the O’HAGAN’S in the rebellion against Queen Elizabeth, from which circumstance it is sometimes called Maheraglass Castle.
KILLESHILL (Killishil, Killeshal)
a parish in the union and barony of Dungannon, 6 miles (S. W.) from Dungannon, on the road from that place to Ballygawley, containing 4985 inhabitants. This parish was formed by order of council in 1732, by separating 27 townlands from the parish of Carrenteel and Archbishop ROBINSON endowed the living with the townland of Glencal for a glebe, which was eventually exchanged for the present glebe adjoining the church. The parish comprises 9839¼ statute acres. About half the land is arable, one-fourth pasture and the remainder bog and waste; limestone is abundant and is burnt for manure. The soil is cold and thin, but is well cultivated; the inhabitants combine weaving with their agricultural pursuits.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh and in the gift of the Lord Primate; the tithe rent-charge is £225. The church is a small neat edifice, built in 1768 by aid of a gift of £481 from the late Board of First Fruits. The glebe-house was erected in 1806, at an expense exceeding £1700, by the then incumbent; the glebe comprises 513a. 3r. 26p. In the Roman Catholic divisions this parish forms part of the district of Donaghmore; it has no chapel, but an altar in the open air. There are places of worship for Presbyterians in connexion with the General Assembly. The parochial school is on Erasmus Smith’s foundation and is aided by the rector; the late Rev. D. KELLY contributed £50 towards the erection of the school-house; there are other public schools, 2 of which are aided by a donation of £7 per annum from Colonel Sir W. VERNER and 2 by £8 per annum from J. GOUGH Esq.
a parish in the union of Armgh, partly in the barony of O’Neilland West, county of Armagh but chiefly in that of Dungannon, county of Tyrone, 2 miles (N.) from Moy, on the river Blackwater and the road from Belfast to Dungannon; containing 6220 inhabitants. It comprises 10,559¼ statute acres, of which 3154¾ are in Armagh and 7404½ in Tyrone. The land is exceedingly fertile and the system of agriculture improved; there is abundance of bog and on the lands of Dungorman a quarry of red sandstone, which is chiefly used for building and for flags. The river for nearly 2 miles forms a boundary here between the counties and, after separating those parts of the parish which are in opposite baronies, falls into Lough Neagh, it is crossed by Verner’s bridge, a handsome structure of one arch, with others on each side, forming a continued causeway, which is frequently overflowed, leaving only the central arch visible above the river. The surface of the parish is marked by numerous elevations, the highest of which are Drumina, Roan-hill, and Lowertown, the valleys between which are good meadowland. There are extensive meadows along the banks of the Blackwater and the Roan and at Bernagh is an extensive wood of full-grown oaks, which, with the plantations of Roan-hill and the other woods and plantations in the parish, has a very fine effect. Limestone, clay freestone, basalt, quartz and clay-slate are found in abundance; there are also indications of coal. In the sandstone near Roan-hill are interesting specimens of fossil fish entirely perfect, with the fins minutely distinct.
The gentlemen’s seats are, Bernagh, a handsome mansion on the great line of road; Church Hill, the seat of Colonel VERNER. M.P., who was created a baronet June 27 1846, a spacious and elegant residence, situated in an extensive and improved demesne and commanding a fine view of the river Blackwater; Brookfield; Rhone Hill; Tamnamore; and Cranebrook. The manufacture of linen and cotton is extensively carried on throughout the neighbourhood and there are 3 large bleach-greens; at Twyford is a paper-mill and at Lower Corr, a large manufactory for coarse earthenware, besides others on a smaller scale in various parts of the parish. At Verner’s-Bridge is a receiving-house for letters under Moy and a manorial court is held monthly by the seneschal of the Lord Primate, in which debts to the amount of £5 are recoverable.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh and in the patronage of the Primate; the tithe rent-charge is £363. 9. The church, a neat structure, was erected in 1824, by a loan of £2000 from the Board of First Fruits. The glebehouse is a handsome edifice and the glebe comprises 229 acres. In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the district of Dungannon; the chapel is a neat stone building, roofed with slate. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. About 250 children are taught in 4 public schools, of which the parochial school is aided by £10 annually from the incumbent; another is partly supported by Richard LLOYD Esq. and one wholly by Sir W. VERNER. At Mullinakill is an ancient cemetery, which is still used.
a parish in the union of Enniskillen, barony of Omagh, 7 miles (N. By E.) from Enniskillen, on the road to Omagh; containing, with the market town of Trillick, 9351 inhabitants. This place, during the war of 1641, was attacked by the Irish forces under Sir Phelim O’NIAL, whom the inhabitants succeeded in driving back to the mountains but they suffered severely in a second attack, in which the assailants were successful. Near Corkhill Lodge are the remains of a fortress which was garrisoned by the inhabitants, who resolutely defended the ford of the river, where a handsome bridge was subsequently erected. The army of James II. encamped twice in this parish during his contest with William III. and marched hence against Enniskillen. An interesting work was published by the Rev. Andrew HAMILTON, rector of Kilskerry, descriptive of these 2 wars, in the latter of which he himself took an active and honourable part.
The parish is 6 miles long and as many broad and comprises 20,439 statute acres, of which the surface is boldly undulated and the soil generally fertile. The system of agriculture is rapidly improving; more than 1000 acres of waste land have been already brought into cultivation, principally under the encouragement of the rector. The principal seats are, Trillick Lodge, the property of Colonel ARCHDALL, near which are the remains of Castle Mervyn, built by a person of the name of MERVYN, from whom Colonel ARCHDALL derives his title to his estate in this county; Relagh, Corkhill Lodge and Corkhill. Two other seats, almost dilapidated, were formerly the residences of the BARTON and BRYAN families. There are several mountains in the parish and several lakes, from which small streams descend to Lough Erne, between which and Lough Foyle, it has been in contemplation to form a communication by a canal. There is a small establishment for milling blankets. A manorial court, petty-sessions and fairs are held at Trillick. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Clogher, constituting the corps of the prebend of Kilskerry in the cathedral of Clogher, in the patronage of the Bishop; the tithe rent-charge is £506. 12. The glebe-house, a spacious and handsome residence surrounded by old plantations, was built in 1774 at an expense of £1300, of which £100 were a gift from the Board of First Fruits. The glebe comprises 380 acres of profitable land, valued at £1 per acre, besides which there are 636¾ acres of mountain glebe, annually in process of being reclaimed and rising in value. The church, an elegant structure in the early English style, with a square tower surmounted by an octagonal spire, was built in 1790, at an expense of £1060, defrayed by the Rev. Dr. HASTINGS; the original spire was taken down and the present one erected in 1830, at the expense of the parish. Divine service is also performed by the clergymen of the Establishment in the Wesleyan meeting- house at Trillick, monthly in winter and once a fortnight in summer. The Roman Catholic parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church; the chapel, a spacious building, is at Magheralough. There is a place of worship for Primitive Methodists at Trillick. A parochial school is supported by the rector and the Association for Discountenancing Vice and there is a school-house at Magheralough, built by the Rev. A. H. IRVINE curate, on land given by Colonel PERCEVAL, there are several national and other schools and a dispensary. Here was a monastery in the 7th century, of which no vestiges can be traced.
a parish in the union and barony of Strabane; containing, with part of the post-town of Strabane, 5523 inhabitants. This parish, which is also called Leghpatrick, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 13,451 statute acres, of which 104 are in the tideway of the Foyle. The soil is generally cold and wet, but part of the land is well cultivated and fertile; there are considerable tracts of mountain pasture and valuable bog. Here is an extensive bleach-green, not used at present; also 2 manufactories for spades and edged-tools. The Strabane canal passes through the parish, from its lower lock on the Foyle to the quay of Strabane. The principal seats are Holy Hill and Mount Pleasant. The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the gift of the Bishop; the tithe rentcharge is £484. 12. and there is a glebe-house, with a glebe of 143 acres, Cunningham measure. The church, a plain edifice without tower or spire, was built by a loan of £600 from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1816 and much enlarged in 1824. In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the district of Donagheady and has chapels at Cloghcor and Glenmornan. A Presbyterian meeting-house was lately erected at Artigarran. There is a parochial school, to which the Marquess of Abercorn, who is proprietor of nearly all the parish, subscribes £10 and the rector £5, annually and to 2 other public schools the marquess contributes £5 each; there are also national and Sunday schools. Near the glebe-house is an ancient rocking- stone.
LISSAN or LISANE
a parish in the poor-law unions of Magherafelt and Cookstown, partly in the barony of Dungannon county of Tyrone, and partly in that of Loughinsholin county of Londonderry, 3 miles (N. by E.) from Cookstown on the road to Moneymore and on that from Omagh to Belfast; containing 6282 inhabitants. This parish, which is bounded on the north by the mountain of Slieve Gallion, comprises 24,684½ statute acres, including 147¾ in Lough Fea and of which 12,917½ are in the county of Tyrone. The greater portion is in the manor of Ardtrea, belonging to the see of Armagh; part is in the manor of Moneymore and the property of the Drapers Company of London. In the war of 1641, the castle, which at that time was the property of the STAPLES family, to whom it had been granted on the plantation of Ulster, was seized by Nial O’QUIN for Sir Phelim O’NIAL, who plundered the house of Sir Thomas STAPLES while rendezvousing at Moneymore Castle and compelled the men employed in Sir Thomas’s iron-works on the Lissan water to make pikes and pike-heads from the stores of their master.
The land is mountainous and boggy; about ⅓ however, is under tillage, producing excellent crops and the remainder affords good pasture; the system of agriculture is improved and much of the bog is of valuable quality. Limestone abounds and is extensively quarried for agricultural uses. The mountain of Slieve Gallion has an elevation of 1730 feet above the level of the sea; the surrounding scenery is strongly diversified and in some parts very picturesque. The principal seats are Lissan Park, the residence of Sir Thos. STAPLES Bart., a noble mansion in an extensive demesne embellished with thriving plantations, an artificial sheet of water with cascades and a picturesque bridge built by the celebrated Ducart; Muff House and Grieve. The linen manufacture is carried on to a great extent by the whole of the population, who combine it with agricultural pursuits.
The Living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh and in the patronage of the Lord Primate; the tithe rent-charge is £375. The glebe-house was built at an expense of £1313. 14. 5., of which £100 were a gift and £650 a loan from the late Board of First Fruits, in 1807 and the remainder was paid by the incumbent; the glebe comprises 87¼ statute acres, valued at £67. 10. per annum. The church is a plain and very ancient structure, with an east window of stained glass. In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish is the head of a district, comprising also part of the parish of Desertlyn; the chapel is a neat edifice. The parochial school built by the Rev. J. M. STAPLES at an expense of £500 and a school at Grouse Lodge built by Mrs. WRIGHT, who endowed it with an acre of land, are both supported under the trustees of Erasmus Smith’s charity; a school at Crevagh was built and is supported by Sir T. STAPLES and one at Donaghbreaghy is aided by the Drapers Company.
a parish in the poor law unions of Enniskillen and Lowtherstown, partly in the barony of Omagh, county of Tyrone and partly in the barony of Lurg, but chiefly in that of Tyrkennedy, county of Fermanagh, 5½ miles (N. by E.) from Enniskillen, on the road to Omagh; containing 5202 inhabitants. The parish extends from north to south nearly 5 miles and the same from east to west and comprises 10,452¼ statute acres, of which 343¾ are in the barony of Omagh and 170¼ in Lurg; 71 are water. About 50 acres are woodland, 1500 waste and bog and the remainder of the land good arable and pasture; the soil is fertile, the system of agriculture improved and there is a due supply of peat for fuel. The principal seats are Jamestown and Crocknacrieve. A large fair, chiefly for horses, is held on Feb. 12th at Ballinamallard, where is a receiving house for letters in connexion with Enniskillen and Omagh. The living is a rectory and vicarage in the diocese of Clogher and in the patronage of the Bishop; the tithe rent charge is £246. 8. 4. There is no glebe-house, the glebe comprises 300 acres, valued at £176 per annum, the church was recently built, partly by subscription, but chiefly at the expense of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the district of Whitehall, or Derryvullen; the chapel is a small thatched building. There are places of worship for Wesleyan and Primitive Wesleyan Methodists, in connexion with the Established Church. About 600 children are taught in the parochial and 6 other pubic schools and there are 5 private schools, in which are about 200 children; 2 Sunday schools and a dispensary.
an ecclesiastical district in the union of Omagh, barony of Strabane, 5 miles (E. N. E.) from Omagh and on the river Shrule ; containing about 2700 inhabitants. It comprises 10,366¾ statute acres, chiefly in tillage. The late Sir William M’MAHON Bart. made some progress in the erection of a town here, where fairs were to be established and a new road has been opened through the district direct from Omagh to Belfast. There is a receiving-house for letters. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Derry and in the patronage of the Rector of Cappagh, of which the parish Mount-Field forms part; the curate receives a stipend of £75, paid by the rector and £25 from Primate Boulter’s augmentation fund, to which he is entitled, is annually handed over to his predecessor. The church is a small but neat edifice with a lofty spire, erected in 1826 on the side of a mountain, at an expense of £830. 15. defrayed by the Board of First Fruits.
a market and post town and an ecclesiastical district, in the union of Dungannon, partly in the barony of Oneilland West, county of Armagh, but chiefly in that of Dungannon, county of Tyrone, 5¼ miles (N.) from Armagh, and 71¼ (N. byW.) from Dublin, on the coach-road from Armagh to Dungannon; the population of the district is returned with Clonfeacle; the town contains 857 inhabitants. This place, commanding the chief pass of the river Blackwater, was a post of considerable importance during the wars in the reign of Elizabeth and its intimate connexion with Charlemont rendered it in succeeding reigns also a station of much interest to the contending parties. The town is situated on the western bank of the Blackwater, over which is a bridge connecting it with the ancient borough of Charlemont; it consists principally of a square, or market-place and one steep street, containing 172 houses, several of which are neatly built and most are of modern character. A number of old houses have recently been pulled down and rebuilt and some new houses are in course of erection. A considerable trade in corn, timber, coal, slate, iron, and salt is carried on by means of the river, which is navigable for vessels of 100 tons burthen and there are extensive bleach-greens near the town, where great quantities of linen are finished for the English market. The weaving of linen is also carried on to some extent and there are several small potteries for earthenware of the coarser kind. But the inhabitants are chiefly employed in the trade of the river and in agriculture.
The Ulster canal passes through the parish and falls into the Blackwater a little below the town. The market, which was recently established is on Friday and is well supplied with grain and provisions of all kinds; fairs for live stock are held on the 1st Friday in every month and are numerously attended, especially by horse-dealers. A very commodious market-house and a spacious market-place have been constructed by the Earl of Charlemont, who is the proprietor of the town. A constabulary police force has been stationed here; petty-sessions are held on alternate Mondays and a court for the manor of Charlemont and Moy, which has extensive jurisdiction in the counties of Armagh and Tyrone, is held occasionally by the seneschal.
The district parish was constituted in 1819, by separating 33 townlands from the parish of Clonfeacle; namely, 27 in the county of Tyrone and 6 in the county of Armagh. The land, though of a light and gravelly nature, is productive under a good system of agriculture. Limestone is in abundance and is quarried for manure; sandstone, basalt, and whinstone are found here alternating and there are indications of coal in several places. In the vicinity of Grange, fossil-fish have been discovered in red sandstone, a fine specimen of one of which has been deposited in the museum of the Geological Society, London. The lands westward of the Blackwater are extremely fertile. There are several handsome seats, the principal are Argory, The Grange, and Grange Park. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Armagh and in the patronage of the Rector of Clonfeacle, the stipend is £100 per annum, of which £75 are paid by the rector and £25 from Primate Boulter’s augmentation fund. The glebe-house, towards which the Board of First Fruits contributed £450 and a loan of £50, was built in 1820; there are about 2 roods of glebe. The church, a small neat edifice in the early English style, with a square tower, was built in 1819, at an expense of £1569, of which £900 were a gift and £500 a loan from the same Board it has been lately enlarged by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, at a cost of £230. In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the union of Clonfeacle; the chapel is a large and handsome edifice, recently erected. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents and Wesleyan Methodists.
a village in the parish of Tullaniskin, union and barony of Dungannon, 3 miles (N. N. E.) from Dungannon, on the road to Cookstown; containing about 105 inhabitants. It derives its name probably from 2 corn-mills, erected in 1758, by the proprietor of the adjoining lands and comprises 20 houses, most of which are indifferently built. Here is the parochial church, a plain edifice with a square embattled tower and nearly adjoining it is the principal parochial school, with a residence for the master, endowed with a portion of the glebe land, comprising 1 acre.
an ecclesiastical district in the union and barony of Clogher, 4½ miles (N.) from Clogher, near the new road from Dublin to Omagh, the population is returned with Clogher. The lands were part of those granted by James I, in 16 10 to Sir W. COPE and then called Derrybard, in 1619, a bawn was built thereon. The district comprises 13,768½ statute acres and was formed in 1820, by disuniting 29 townlands from the parish of Clogher, in the manors of Cecil and Cope, at which time the district was an entire waste of uninclosed and uncultivated common, since reclaimed by the proprietor. The land varies in quality, some being light, some indifferent and some good, but there is none of the best description; a small portion is mountain, yet, in consequence of judicious management, where nothing but bog and heath was to be found 30 years since, crops of corn, flax, and potatoes and the richest verdure, are now general. The inhabitants combine spinning and weaving with agricultural pursuits. There are indications of coal and pure specimens of carbonate of lead have been discovered; excellent freestone is found in several parts. Numerous escars run entirely through the district, curiously undulating and rising into gentle swells consisting of sand and waterworn pebbles, principally of trap, greenstone, hornblende, quartz, porphyry and agate.
The village is small, comprising only 17 poorly built houses; fairs were formerly held, but have been discontinued owing to the numerous quarrels to which they led. The principal seats are Cecil and Raveagh. The living is a perpetual cure, in the diocese of Clogher, and in the patronage of the Dean, who appropriates £60 per annum towards the income of the curate. The glebe-house, surrounded by fine plantations, was erected in 1824, by aid of a gift of £450 and a loan of £50, from the Board of First Fruits; the glebe comprises 15 acres, valued at £15 per annum. The church was built in 1815, at an expense of £895, of which the same Board gave £738 and the proprietor of the estate the residue; it is a neat edifice in the Gothic style, with a lofty square tower. At Escrahoole is a Roman Catholic chapel and there is a meeting house for Presbyterians at Longridge. A school-house at Beltony, with a residence for the master and mistress, was built partly by the Rev. F. GERVAIS and partly by the trustees of Erasmus Smith’s charity; the school is endowed with 2 acres of land by the Rev. F. GERVAIS. At Escrahoole school-house divine service is every Sunday evening performed by the curate, as it is 3½ miles from the church and a new school-house, to be fitted up as a church, is now in course of erection.
a market and post town in the parish of Ardstraw, union and barony of Strabane, 7¼ miles (N. W.) from Omagh, and 99¼ (N. N. W.) from Dublin, on the road to Londonderry; containing 1405 inhabitants. This town, which is beautifully situated on the western bank of the river Mourne, about halfway between Omagh and Strabane and surrounded by the lofty mountains of Munterloney, was anciently called Lislas and appears to have been a place of early importance, commanding the only pass through this extensive mountainous district. The adjacent lands were granted by James I. on the settlement of Ulster, to Sir J. CLAPHAM, who not having complied with the conditions of the grant, the property became forfeited to the crown and was granted by Charles I. to Sir W. STEWART from whom the present town took its name. Sir Phelim O’NIAL, having obtained possession of the castle in 1641, cut off all communication with this portion of Tyrone and compelled the king’s forces to retreat from every post they occupied in this part of the country.
In the war of the Revolution, James II. lodged for one night in the castle on his way to Londonderry and also on his return from Lifford and on leaving it the following morning, ordered it to be dismantled and the town to be burned, which orders were carried into effect and the town continued in ruins till restored by one of the STEWART family in 1722. After its restoration it soon became a place of considerable trade, from its situation in the centre of a great linen district and in 1727, Dr. John HALL, rector of Ardstraw, built a handsome church here at his own expense, which has ever since continued to be the parish church.
The town consists of 3 principal and 3 smaller streets, and contains 350 houses, neat and well built, the principal streets are paved and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water from a spring at the southwestern end of the town, conveyed by pipes to the more respectable houses and into public reservoirs in several parts of the town for the supply of the poorer inhabitants. In the main street are 2 good hotels. A considerable trade is derived from the situation of the place on a great public thoroughfare and many of the inhabitants are employed in the numerous limestone and freestone quarries in the neighbourhood, which are extensively worked; the limestone found on the lands of Baronscourt is of remarkably fine quality for building. In the excise arrangements the town is within the district of Londonderry. The market, on Monday, is amply supplied with every kind of agricultural produce and with unbleached linen; fairs, numerously attended, are held on the last Monday in every month, chiefly for cattle, sheep and pigs. A small constabulary police force is stationed in the town and petty-sessions are held monthly. The church is a large structure on a gentle eminence and has a lofty and well-proportioned octagonal spire, which was added to it in 1803, in the time of the Rev. G. HALL, then rector and afterwards Bishop of Dromore. There are also a Roman Catholic chapel, 2 places of worship for Presbyterians and 2 for Wesleyan Methodists and a dispensary. In the town are the remains of the castle, which, with the exception of the roof, is nearly entire, forming a noble and highly interesting ruin. In the vicinity is Baronscourt, the seat of the Marquess of Abercorn, a stately mansion, situated in a widely extended demesne combining much romantic and beautiful scenery, embellished with 3 spacious lakes and enriched with fine timber. Moyle House, Newtown- Stewart Castle and Cross House are also in the neighbourhood. Adjoining one end of the bridge is an ancient fort thrown up to defend the ford of the river; there is a similar one at Ardstraw bridge and also at Moyle to guard the ford of the river Glenally. Numerous other forts in the neighbourhood, and various cairns are noticed in the article on Ardstraw.
an assize, market and post town and the head of a union, in the parish of Drumragh, barony of Omagh, 26¼ miles (S. E.) from Londonderry and 86 (N. N. W.) from Dublin, on the road between these two cities; containing 2947 inhabitants. This place, which was anciently called ‘Oigh-Magh’ and ‘Oigh-Rath’, signifying “the seat of the chiefs,” is supposed to have owed its origin as a town to an abbey founded here in 792, which was converted into a house for the 3rd order of Franciscans in 1464 and continued to flourish as such until the Dissolution, when its site and possessions were granted to Sir Henry PIERS. There is no notice of the town as a fortress or place of defence until 1498, when MacArt O’NIAL, having taken up arms against the English government, fortified himself in the castles of Omy and Kinnard, upon which the Earl of Kildare,then lord-deputy, marched against the former, took it, razed it to the ground and compelled MacArt to submit to the king’s authority. In 1602, Mountjoy, lord deputy, placed a strong garrison in Omy, under the command of Sir Henry Docwra and marched hence with all his forces against the Earl of Tyrone; succeeded in taking the whole of his magazines, military chest and other valuables and, after driving the discomfited earl to Castle Roe, on the Bann, penetrated as far as Enniskillen. Tyrone never recovered from this defeat and soon made his final submission at Mellifont.
On the plantation of Ulster in 1609, the town, with its surrounding district, was granted to Lord Castlehaven in the following divisions, 2000 acres at Addergoole, being Omagh and the adjoining townlands; 2000 acres at Fintona; 2000 at Brade and 3000 at Ravone. But this nobleman having neglected to erect castles and settle British subjects on the land, according to the articles of plantation, the grant reverted to the crown and the district of Addergoole was granted by Charles I. in 1631, to James MERVYN Esq., under the name of the manor of Arleston or Audleston and the greater part of Fintona or Ballynahatty, to the same person, under the name of the manor of Touchet. Colonel ARCHDALL, the descendant of the grantee, is now lord of the manor. In 1641, Sir Phelim O’NIAL, shortly after the commencement of the war, marched against the castle of Omagh, which, by an immediate surrender, escaped the sufferings inflicted on those places in the county that made a more vigorous resistance. James II. passed through the town in the spring of 1689, on his march northward to Strabane. The garrison which he placed here was soon afterwards driven out with great slaughter, but before they evacuated the place the soldiers set it on fire and destroyed it, with the church and the castle built by MERVYN. In 1743, the town, having been rebuilt in the intermediate period, was again destroyed by fire, two houses only escaping the flames. It was however soon rebuilt on a new plan and has become a thriving and rapidly improving place.
Omagh is situated on a gentle eminence on the southern bank of the river Stroule, here known by the name of the Drumragh water, a branch of the Foyle and consists of 3 principal streets, with several smaller branching from them. Many of the houses are large and well built, the streets are paved, but not lighted and the inhabitants have but a scanty supply of water, as there are no public fountains or wells. It is now the county town, a distinction formerly enjoyed by Dungannon but at what time the change took place has not been ascertained, further than that it occurred previously to 1768. The communication between the town and Cappagh is maintained by a fine bridge over the Stroule. A reading-room is furnished with newspapers but not with periodicals or other literary works. The trade is very limited, the only manufactures are those of tobacco and of ale and beer, of which, latter there is an extensive brewery, the produce of which has acquired some celebrity. The land in the vicinity is tolerably cultivated and well planted; the seats are New Grove and Mount-Pleasant. A branch of the National Bank has been established. In the excise arrangements the town is within the district of Londonderry. The market, held on Saturday, is well supplied with provisions and on alternate Saturdays brown linens are exposed for sale; a market-house was built in 1830, in which grain and vegetables are sold and a very convenient range of shambles was opened in 1834. Fairs are held on the 1st Saturday of every month, for all kinds of cattle.
The assizes for the county are held here, as are the quarter-sessions for the baronies of Omagh and Strabane, alternately with the town of Strabane. A court baron is also held every 3rd Thursday for the manor of Audleston, at which the seneschal of the lord of the manor presides, debts to the amount of £4 are recoverable in it. The court-house is a large and handsome edifice, on the highest ground in the town, it has in front a fine portico of 4 Doric columns, with the royal arms in the tympanum; the stone of which the front is formed was raised from the quarries of Kirlis, 8 miles distant. On the northern side of the town is the county prison, built in 1804 and enlarged in 1822 according to a plan adapted to the better classification of the prisoners, with the governor’s house in the centre, it consists of 60 cells, 73 beds in rooms, 10 solitary cells, 9 day-rooms and 6 yards, with an hospital, and small chapel and has a tread-mill, not applied to any profitable use. To the north of the gaol are the barracks originally intended for artillery but now enlarged and fitted up for infantry, being the depot and head-quarters of a military district; they contain accommodations for a field officer, 7 other commissioned officers, 110 privates and 60 horses, with an hospital for 12 patients. Here is a chief constabulary police station. The county infirmary was established in 1796 and though considerably enlarged in 1810, its arrangements being still imperfect, further additions have just been made to it; a building for a fever hospital is also in the town and a dispensary, established in 1831, is supported in the usual manner.
The parochial church of Drumragh, situated at Omagh, is a handsome edifice, erected in 1777 by the MERVYN family and enlarged in 1820 with a north aisle and galleries, at the expense of the parish, it is in the Grecian style, with a lofty tower and spire built at the expense of Dr. KNOX, late Bishop of Derry. In the town is a large Roman Catholic chapel for the district of Drumragh and Omagh; there are also 2 meeting-houses for Presbyterians in connexion with the General Assembly and 2 others belonging respectively to the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. The union workhouse, on a site of 6 acres held at a rent of £30, was completed in 1841 at a cost of £6557 and is constructed for 800 inmates. No trace of theancient abbey is now in existence and even its site is matter of doubt; a small fragment of the ruins of Castle Mervyn is still visible on the side of a brook near the pound. Dr. John LAWSON, author of Lectures on Oratory, was born in this town, in 1712.
a village in the parish of Kildress, union of Cookstown, barony of Dungannon, 3 miles (W.) from Cookstown and on the road from Omagh to Belfast; the population is returned with the parish. Fairs are held on the 2nd Wednesday in July, Aug. 3rd, Oct. 10th and the 3rd Wednesday in Nov. for cattle, sheep and pigs. A court for the manor of Oritor is held on the 1st Monday in each month, for the recovery of debts under 40s., its jurisdiction extends over 12 townlands in the parish of Kildress, which were granted by James I. to the ANNESLEY family and are now the property of Lord Castle-Steuart. Here is a large Presbyterian meeting-house erected in 1825.
a parish, in the union of Cookstown, barony of Dungannon, 7¼ miles (N. W.) from Dungannon, on the road to Omagh; containing 8547 inhabitants, of whom 491 are in the town. The district was granted by James I. to Sir Arthur Chichester, then lord-deputy, and soon after was created a manor under the name of Manor Chichester. It was then altogether an extensive forest, some of the oaks, of which, when cut down several years since, measured 29 feet in circumference. During the unsettled period of 1641 it was nearly stripped of its timber and it remained in a neglected state until 1770, when the Rev. James LOWRY undertook its management he planted a great portion of the demesne, which now exhibits some very fine timber and bequeathed a sum to erect the present mansion. In the demesne, which consists of 556 acres, is a small lake, whose borders resemble in shape the coast of Ireland, on a scale of about one foot to a mile. Near it is a very abundant spring of water, strongly impregnated with carbonic-acid gas.
The town or village, which is seated on the summit of a hill and contains 107 houses, consists of a square and a long street, the roadway of which having been cut down in order to diminish the ascent, the houses on each side are in an unsightly and even dangerous situation. A court leet and baron for the manor is held here every 3 weeks, in which debts to the amount of 40s. are recoverable; petty sessions are held on the 3rd Wednesday in every month. It is a constabulary police station and has a receiving-house for letters under Dungannon and Omagh. Fairs are held on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, for the sale of cattle and 2 annual fairs on June 1st and Oct. 31st. The parish comprises 15,951 statute acres; the eastern and southern parts are fertile and well cultivated; the western, which forms part of the Altmore mountain and comprises nearly 3000 acres, is uncultivated mountain and bog. Granite, basalt, quartz, limestone, freestone, clayslate, ironstone and coal have been found. The principal seats within the limits of the parish are Pomeroy House, Mulnagore Lodge and Drummond Lodge.
The parish was erected in 1775, by an order of council, at the application of Primate Robinson, by severing 41 townlands from Donaghmore; it is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Armagh and in the patronage of the Primate; the tithe rent-charge is £291. 15. The glebe-house, built in 1786 at an expense of £414 supplied by Primate Robinson and enlarged in 1793 at a cost of £322 by the then incumbent, has a glebe of 560 statute acres (of which 145 are irreclaimable) valued at £198 per annum, purchased by the same Primate; the gross value of the benefice, tithe and glebe included, is £489. 15. per annum. The townland of Gortfad, in this parish, forms part of the glebe of the rectory of Desertcreight. The church, built in 1775 on a site 3 miles from the village, is a handsome edifice, yet, though spacious, it does not afford sufficient accommodation for the congregation during the summer months. In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the district of Donaghmore and has a chapel in the village of Pomeroy, where also is a meeting-house for Presbyterians. The parochial school, situated near the church, was built and endowed with 6 acres of land by Primate Robinson. In the higher chain of the Altmore mountains are the ruins of the castle erected by Sir Thos. NORRIS, in the reign of Elizabeth, to protect the mountain pass and not far distant are the remains of 2 barracks, built during the last century as stations for troops placed here to put down the bands of robbers that then infested the country committing many outrages.
a manor, in that part of the parish of Errigal-Trough which is in the barony of Clogher, union of Clogher; the population is returned with the parish. This ancient district, which comprises 3000 acres of arable land and extends over the present towns of Aughnacloy and Augher, including the districts of Lismore and Garvey, with all the intermediate country, was granted in 1613, by James I. to Sir Thomas RIDGWAIE Knt. and confirmed in 1665 by Charles II., who changed the name of the manor from Portclare to Favour-Royal, by which it is at present known. A spacious and handsome mansion called, after the estate, Favour-Royal, was erected here by the proprietor, in 1670 but being destroyed in 1823 by an accidental fire, a larger and more magnificent structure was erected in 1825, by John Corry MOUTRAY Esq. This mansion is situated on the bank of the river Blackwater and is built of freestone found on the estate, in the Elizabethan style, embellished with a noble portico and with elegant architectural details; the demesne comprises 740 acres of fertile and highly cultivated land and is finely diversified
and richly wooded. Within it Mr. MOUTRAY has erected a cruciform church, in the later English style, with a square tower rising from the north-eastern angle, forming an interesting and beautiful object in the grounds and corresponding in character with the house. It is built of the freestone procured on the estate and was completed at an expense of £1000, for the accommodation of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who have no other church within a distance of 3 miles. The living is a donative, in the patronage of the founder, who endowed it with £50 per annum charged on his estate, to which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have added £30, making the stipend of the minister £80 per annum. The church was consecrated on the 3rd of July 1835 and is designated St. Mary’s, Portclare.
a village, in the parish of Clogherney union and barony of Omagh, containing 35 houses and 134 inhabitants.
a village, in the parish of Termonmaquirk, union and barony of Omagh, 6 miles (S. E.) from Omagh on the road to Dungannon; containing 355 inhabitants. The village contains 76 meanly built houses, many of them thatched; it has a sub-post to Omagh and Dungannon. A court for the manor of Feena is held once a month, for the recovery of debts under 40s. and a constabulary police force is stationed here. The village, manor and lands around are the property of the Earl of Belmore and Colonel Sir William VERNER. A very handsome and commodious church was built in 1835, by aid of a grant of £900 from the Board of First Fruits and private donations; the district attached to it embraces townlands of the parish and of Errigal-Keeroge and Clogherney contiguous. A small chapel here, probably erected by one of the lords Glenawley, was used for public worship until the parish church was built in 1786. In the village are a meetinghouse for Presbyterians and a male and female school. The lords Glenawley, to whom all the surrounding property formerly belonged, had their chief residence here, a small fragment of the castle being still in existence.
SKIRTS or Skirts of Urney, also called DERG
a parish in the union of Castlederg, barony of Omagh, 8 miles (W.) from Newtown-Stewart and on the river Derg; containing with the post-town of Castlederg, 5799 inhabitants. This parish, which in the ecclesiastical divisions is generally known as Derg, Derg-Bridge or Castlederg, was formerly considered to be included in the parishes of Urney and Ardstraw but in 1812 the portion of the latter parish was claimed by its rector and since that period the parish has been called the Skirts of Urney. It comprises 17 townlands, containing (together with the portion of Ardstraw) 14,286 statute acres. Petty-sessions are held every 2nd, and a court for the manor of Hastings every 3rd, Saturday, at Castlederg, where also are held a monthly court for the manor of Ardstraw, and a monthly fair. The living is a perpetual cure, in the diocese of Derry and in the patronage of the Rector of Urney; the tithe rent-charge of the 17 townlands over which the cure extends, amounts to £193. 17. The glebe-house is a neat building, erected in 1795, at an expense of £200, of which £150 were a gift from the late Board of First Fruits and there is a glebe of 30 Cunningham acres. The church is situated at Castlederg. In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish forms part of the district of Urney, the chapel is at Castlederg and there is a place of worship for Presbyterians.
a market and post town in the parish of Donaghenry, union of Cookstown, barony of Dungannon, 16 miles (N. W.) from Armagh, and 82 (N. By W.) from Dublin, on the coach-road to Coleraine; containing 1082 inhabitants. This place, also called Steuartstown, derives its name from its founder, Sir Andrew STEUART, to whom James I. granted the surrounding district : in 1608 he erected a strong bawn of limestone, which afterwards was converted into a castle and laid the foundation of a village according to the conditions of the grant. The present town consists mainly of a spacious square and 3 streets and contains 234 houses, well built of stone and roofed with slate; many of the houses are large and handsome, several of modern erection and the whole place has an appearance of cheerfulness and prosperity. The manufacture of linencloth and a fabric called unions (a mixture of linen and cotton) is carried on to a tolerable extent and the town derives a good inland trade for the supply of the neighbourhood and considerable traffic, from its situation on a great public thoroughfare. The market is on Wednesday and fairs for cattle, sheep and pigs, are held on the 1st Wednesday in every month (O. S.); the market-house is a handsome building in the centre of the town. A constabulary police force is stationed here; a court is held monthly for the manor of Castle- Stewart, at which debts to the amount of 40s. are recoverable and petty-sessions on alternate Tuesdays.
The parish church is situated in the town, in which are also a Roman Catholic chapel, 2 places of worship for Presbyterians, some large school houses and a dispensary. There are remains of the old castle but they have long been in a neglected state and retain scarcely any traces of their original character. The country around exhibits much picturesque scenery and is embellished with several handsome seats; 2 miles from the town, in an extensive and improved demesne with a fine park, is Stewart Hall, the seat of the Earl of Castle- Steuart, who derives his titles of baron and earl from this place.
a market and post town (formerly a parliamentary borough) and the head of a union, partly in the parishes of Leckpatrick and Urney, but chiefly in that of Camus-juxta- Mourne, barony of Strabane, 12 miles (S. S. W.) from Londonderry, 14¼ (N. W. By N.) from Omagh and 107 (N. N. W.) from Dublin, on the coach-road to Londonderry; containing 4704 inhabitants. Little notice of this place occurs prior to the 14th century, when a Franciscan monastery of the 3rd order was founded here, which flourished for a short time and ultimately merged into the abbey of Scarvaherin. The place was originally in the district of Munterlony but on the formation of part of the territory of Tir-Owen into the county of Tyrone, in 1591, it was made the head of the barony of Strabane. It appears, however, to have been merely an inconsiderable village till the plantation of Ulster by James I., who in 1611 granted the surrounding district to the Earl of Abercorn, who previously to the year 1619 had erected a strong castle, around which he built a town of 80 houses and settled 120 families mustering together 200 armed men, for whom, in 1612, he obtained a charter of incorporation and other valuable privileges. He also erected 3 water-mills for grinding corn and began to build a church. The town now ranks the first in the county. In 1641 it was besieged by Sir Phelim O’NIAL, who took the castle and carrying off the Countess of Abercorn, detained her as a prisoner till ransomed by the payment of a large sum of money. The Irish forces of O’NIAL remained for a long time in possession of the castle but it was at length retaken by the troops under the command of Colonel Sir G. HAMILTON, brother of the Earl of Abercorn.
In the war of the Revolution it was garrisoned for the Protestants and on the 14th of March, 1688, afforded an asylum to the inhabitants of Dungannon and its neighbourhood, when abandoned by Colonel Lundy, in the following month, however, it fell into the hands of the enemy and on the 18th of April, James II arrived in person at this place and passed the ford to Lifford. From Lifford he proceeded to Londonderry but finding that city in a state much more opposed to his views than he had anticipated, he returned to the castle of Strabane on the 20th and received a deputation who surrendered to him the fort of Culmore.
The Town is situated on the river Mourne, near its confluence with the Fin and consists of 10 principal and several smaller streets ; it contained 883 houses in 1841, since which time several houses have been built and great improvements made, among which are the newly constructed roads to Londonderry, Newtown-Stewart and Castlefin. The houses generally are well built, and many of them are spacious and handsome, especially in such of the principal streets as are of recent formation. Over the river Mourne is a bridge, recently widened and over the Foyle, by which name the united rivers Mourne and Fin are called, is another to which 3 arches have been added. The appearance of the town is strikingly prepossessing and the effect is further increased by the thriving orchards attached to the houses and in the immediate vicinity, producing apples, pears, and cherries in abundance. The manufacture of corduroys and other cotton fabrics was formerly carried on to a limited extent and in the neighbourhood are several bleach- greens, none of which, however, at present are in operation. The principal trade is in grain, of which more is sold in this market than in any other in the county; great quantities are annually shipped for Liverpool, Glasgow and other ports. The provision trade is also very extensive; more than 1000 tierces of beef and 2000 barrels of pork are annually cured here for the English market. There is a large ale and beer brewery of some celebrity, chiefly for the supply of the town and neighbourhood, though considerable quantities are sent to Londonderry, Coleraine, Lifford, Donegal and other places. The principal exports are wheat, oats, barley, flax, pork, beef, butter, eggs and poultry and the imports, timber, iron, staves, groceries and articles of general merchandise.
The trade of the place is much facilitated by the Strabane canal, which meets the river Foyle at Leck, about 3 miles below the town and is navigable for vessels of 40 tons burthen. It was constructed in 1793, at an expense of £12,000, defrayed by a grant from the Commissioners of Inland Navigation, aided by the Marquess of Abercorn and was brought into the town by two locks. On its banks are ranges of warehouses and stores for grain, with wharfs and commodious quays, well adapted to the carrying on of an extensive trade. Near the town on the river Foyle, is a salmon-fishery, which belonged formerly to the corporation of Lifford, but is now the property of the Earl of Erne; great quantities of fish are annually taken. Branches of the Belfast and Provincial Banks have been established. In the excise arrangements, the town is within the district of Londonderry. The principal market is on Tuesday and is largely supplied with corn, provisions and brown linen ; fairs are held on the 1st Thursday in every month and on the 1st Feb., 12th May, 1st Aug. and 12th November, for horses, cattle, sheep and pigs. The market-house is a commodious and handsome building and the grain and meal markets, built by the corporation in 1823, are large and well arranged; over the principal gateway are the arms of Strabane. A market has been lately established for the sale of flax and a commodious market-house erected by the town commissioners; it is held on Wednesdays. James I., in the 10th of his reign, made the town a free borough and granted the inhabitants a charter of incorporation, by the title of the “Provost, Free Burgesses and Commonalty of the Borough of Strabane” with a weekly market, 2 annual fairs and the power of returning 2 members to the Irish parliament, holding a court of record and other privileges. By this charter the corporation consisted of a provost, 12 free burgesses and an indefinite number of freemen, assisted by a recorder, chamberlain, 2 serjeants-at-mace and other officers. The provost, who was also clerk-of-the-market and judge of the borough court, was annually elected on the 29th of Sept. from the free burgesses, by a majority of that body; if no election took place, he continued in office till the next appointment. The free burgesses filled up vacancies as they occurred, from the freemen, by the provost and a majority of their own body and also admitted freemen, by favour only. The corporation was dissolved by the act 3rd and 4th Victoria, cap. 108. The town had returned 2 members to the Irish parliament till the Union, when the parliamentary borough was disfranchised. The court of record held before the provost possessed jurisdiction to the amount of 5 marks, but after the abolition of arrest for small sums the business of the court declined and it eventually fell into disuse. The late corporation had no property but the tolls of the fairs and market, which were under their regulation and are now partly vested in Town Commissioners, pursuant to the provisions of the Corporations Reform act.
There is a chief constabulary police station; the quarter-sessions for the county are held here in January, April, July, and October; petty-sessions on alternate Tuesdays; and a court for the manor of Strabane every month, at which debts to the amount of 40s. are recoverable. The bridewell contains two apartments with three beds in each, two day-rooms and a yard. The church built here in 1619 by the Earl of Abercorn has, since the parliamentary war of 1641, been the parish church of Camus-juxta-Mourne, it has been enlarged from time to time and is now a handsome cruciform structure in the Grecian style, with a cupola and the arms of the founder over the principal entrance. There are a spacious Roman Catholic chapel, 2 places of worship for Presbyterians and 2 for Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. The union workhouse, on a site of 9¼ acres given free, was completed in 1841 and is constructed for 800 inmates. About one mile from the town on the road to Londonderry is a chalybeate spring containing iron, magnesia, and sulphur, held in solution by carbonic-acid gas. Of the castle built by the Earl of Abercorn, nothing now remains; the site is occupied by a dwelling-house and merchant’s stores. Strabane gives the inferior titles of Baron and Viscount to the Marquess of Abercorn
a parish partly in the union of Magherafelt barony of Loughinsholin, county of Londonderry, but chiefly in that of Cookstown, barony of Dungannon, county of Tyrone, 3¼ miles (S. By E.) from Moneymore; on the roads from Toome to Moneymore and from Cookstown to Magherafelt and on the river Ballinderry; containing 3006 inhabitants. The river here forms the southern boundary of the county of Londonderry and on its south bank, close to its junction with Lough Neagh, stands the village of Coagh, which is described under its own head. The parish comprises 4954¾ statute acres, 2447¾ acres being in the barony of Dungannon and 2507 in that of Loughinsholin, all fertile land, except about 300 acres of waste and bog, about two-thirds of the surface are arable and the rest meadow and pasture; there is no mountain land. The inhabitants combine with agriculture the weaving of linencloth, here carried on to a great extent. There are several quarries of good limestone, much of which is burned for manure. A little westward of the church are seen strata of white limestone, which enter from Seagoe and Maralin, in the county of Down, pass under Lough Neagh, nearly due east and west and here emerging from their subterranean bed, continue to the neighbourhood of Moneymore and so on to the Magilligan strand. There were formerly 2 extensive bleach-greens in full operation, neither of which is now worked.
Tamlaght was created a parish in 1783 by Primate ROBINSON, by separating 6 townlands from the parish of Ballyclog in the barony of Dungannon and 5½ from that of Ballinderry in the barony of Loughinsholin; the Primate also built the church and purchased the glebe, with which he endowed it, together with the tithes of the 11½ townlands. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Armagh and in the patronage of the Primate; the tithe rent-charge is £150. The glebe-house was built in 1781, at an expense of £496, of which £92 were a gift from the late Board of First Fruits, the residue being supplied by the then incumbent. The church is a small plain edifice in the Londonderry portion of the parish. In Coagh is a meeting-house for
Presbyterians in connexion with the General Assembly, within the parish is a meeting-house for those till lately in connexion with the Associate Synod and there are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyan Methodists, the latter in the market-place of Coagh. On the glebe stands a cromlech called Cloughtogel, composed of a stupendous table-stone of granite, weighing 22 tons, raised 13 feet above the ground on 6 uprights of basalt, under it is a chamber or vault of considerable extent. There were formerly several other cromlechs connected with this, extending in a line due east and west, the whole surrounded by a circle of upright stones but in the process of fencing and other alterations, all have been removed except the first-named. In a field called the “Honey Mug” not far distant, is a large upright pillar of marble of a singular kind, beneath which is an artificial cave.
a parish in the union of Castlederg, barony of Omagh, 4 miles (S. W.) from Castlederg, on the road to Pettigoe; containing 7253 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the river Derg and bounded on the south by the Longfield mountains, comprises 45,399 statute acres, of which 288 are water. The surface is mountainous and interspersed with several small lakes; not more than one-fourth of the land is in cultivation, but the mountains afford good pasturage for cattle. Limestone, freestone, whinstone and granwacke are found in the valleys and in some parts are indications of coal. The scenery is beautifully diversified but the whole parish is deeply secluded and there are few gentlemen’s seats; the principal are Derg Lodge, the residence of Sir R. A. FERGUSON Bart.; Lisnacloon and Woodside. Several new lines of road have been opened and others are in progress which will greatly improve the district.
Fairs are held in the small village of Killeter on the 21st of every month and a constabulary police force is stationed there. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Derry and in the patronage of the Bishop; the tithe rent-charge is £328. 17. and the glebe comprises 20 acres, valued at £10 per annum. The church, for the erection of which the late Board of First Fruits granted a loan of £600, is a neat small edifice with a bell-turret; it was built in 1822 on a site near the village and on the south bank of the river Derg. The Roman Catholic parish is coextensive with that of the Established Church; the chapel is at Aughryarn and there is also an altar in the open air. Here is a place of worship for Presbyterians in connexion with the General Assembly.
TERMONMAGUIRKE or Termonmacnorck,
a parish in the union of Omagh, partly in the barony of Strabane but chiefly in that of Omagh, 9 miles (S. E.) from Omagh, on the road to Dungannon; containing 12,098 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in a mountainous district, comprises, according to the Ordnance survey, 41,078a. 1r. 21p. statute measure, of which 1352¾ acres are in the baronv of Strabane and the remainder in that of Omagh, 291¼ are water and 31,817 are applotted under the Tithe act. The land is in general of good quality, though there are some extensive tracts of mountain and bog that cannot be brought into cultivation; the system of agriculture is rapidly improving under the auspices of the rector (the Rev. C. C. BERESFORD) and Sir Hugh STEWART Bart. There is good freestone, with indications of coal in several parts, also an extensive range of quartz rock.
Besides the rector, there are 2 resident landlords. Sir Hugh STEWART and Alexander M’CAUSLAND Esq., the former of whom has a lodge at Loughmacrory; the latter, one at Drumnakilly. The principal lakes are Loughmacrory and Lough Fingrane; of the mountains, few have any great elevation; the highest is Carrickmore, on which a village called by the country people ‘The Rock’, is built. Fairs are held there on the last Friday of every month, there is also a good weekly market. A portion of the parish, called ‘The Eighteen Townlands’ belongs to the Archbishop of Armagh, who by his seneschal holds a monthly court for his manor of Tonnen, at Nine-mile-house for the recovery of debts under £10 and a court for the manor of Feena is held at Six-mile-cross for the recovery of debts under 40s.
The Living is a rectory and vicarage in the diocese of Armagh and in the patronage of the Marquess of Waterford; the tithes amounted to £803. 1. before the late heavy deductions. The glebe-house was built in 1815 at an expense of £3600 Irish, of which £100 were a gift and £1,500 a loan from the Board of First Fruits, the remainder was defrayed by the incumbent. The glebe comprises 1459 acres, valued at £680. 13. per annum. The parish church is a neat edifice with a square tower, towards the erection of which, in 1786, the Board of First Fruits contributed £500. There are 2 other churches in the parish, one at Six-mile-cross and one at Drumnakilly; 4 Roman Catholic chapels, situated respectively at Creggan, Loughmacrory, Termon-Rock and Drumduff and a place of worship for Presbyterians at Six-mile-cross. About 1200 children are taught in 10 public schools, of which the parochial school and several others are supported by the rector, schools at Loughmacrory and Inisatieve by Sir Hugh STEWART and a school at Cloghfin by Colonel Sir W. VERNER; 3 are in connexion with the National Board. There are also several private schools, 13 Sunday schools and a dispensary. In the townland of Sluggan, on a mountain close to the road to Dungannon, is preserved an ancient bell called the “Clogh of Termon” much corroded by time and said to have been used as the bell of the old parish church; there are many traditionary records concerning it and it is still occasionally used in cases of solemn asseveration. Within a gunshot of the rectory grounds, on the south side, is an isolated hill on which James II. encamped, when on his flight from Derry in 1689.
Adjoining the village are the picturesque remains of the old church of Termon, of a date so remote that not even a tradition of the celebration of public worship in it exists; the building appears to have been an elegant specimen of the decorated English style. The cemetery is still used by the Roman Catholic parishioners, near it is a separate burial-place for children and within a quarter of a mile, one exclusively for women. On the glebe are the remains of a fallen cromlech, a very picturesque object, the table-stone of which is entire and weighs by admeasurement, 104 tons; there is a 2nd one at Loughmacrory, in perfect preservation but not of such large dimensions. Several forts also exist in various parts of the parish.
a market-town in the parish of Kilskerry, union of Lowtherstown, barony of Omagh, 9 miles (N. by E.) from Enniskillen on the road to Omagh ; containing 434 inhabitants. It owes its origin to the family of MERVYN who settled at the neighbouring castle of Mervyn in the reign of James I. and is a small but very improving town, being a convenient stage from Enniskillen and having an excellent hotel. The surrounding district is undulating and hilly and is embellished with several lakes; the land in cultivation is generally fertile and a large tract of waste has lately been reclaimed.
Here is a good market-house, recently repaired by the late Gen. Mervyn ARCHDALL of Trillick Lodge, the proprietor of the town and adjacent lands; a market is held every Tuesday, chiefly for butter and provisions and there is a fair on the 14th of every month. A receiving-house for letters is in connexion with Enniskillen and Omagh. There is a constabulary police station, petty-sessions are held on alternate Mondays and courts leet and baron every 3 weeks, for the recovery of debts under 50s. Here are meetinghouses for Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists, in the former of which also divine service is performed by the clergyman of the Established Church, monthly in winter and once a fortnight in summer. There is likewise a dispensary. The Londonderry and Enniskillen railway passes near the village. No vestiges are discernible of the abbey said to have been founded here in the 7th century but near the town are the ruins of Castle Mervyn, from which a wide prospect is enjoyed.
TULLAGHOG, Tullyhog or Tullyhogue
a village, in the parish of Desertcreight, union of Cookstown, barony of Dungannon, 2¼ miles (S.) from Cookstown and on the road from Stewartstown to Coleraine; containing 103 inhabitants. This place, though now an insignificant village, was of importance at an early period. On the summit of a gentle eminence, a little north-eastward from the village is a large circular encampment surrounded by deep fosses and earthworks, on which is said to have stood the residence of the ancient chieftain O’Haedhagain or O’HAGAN; in this fortress the chiefs of the O’NIAL’s were solemnly inaugurated into the style and authority of “The O’Nial.” The Earl of Tyrone retired into this stronghold when retreating before the victorious army of Elizabeth and in 1602, the Lord-Deputy Mountjoy remained for some time at Tullaghog and broke in pieces the strong chair of stone in which the O’Nials had been installed. On June 27th, 1603, Sir Garrett MORE had here the first audience with the Earl of Tyrone, the last prince of the O’Nial race; two days afterwards Tyrone left the fortress and on the 30th at Mellifont Abbey, submitted to the English government; he received a pardon and was shortly restored to his earldom and possessions. All that is left of the ancient city is the fortress before noticed, no vestige remains of the regal chair, though there were pieces of it in the orchard belonging to the glebe-house so lately as 1776. The fortress is planted with trees, it forms part of Ballymully, the glebe of Desertcreight.
The village has a receiving-house for letters in connexion with Cookstown, Dungannon and Stewartstown and comprises 27 houses, among which is a handsome school-house with a residence for the master, built by John LINDESAY Esq. Close adjoining is the site of the ancient priory of Donaghrisk, founded by one of the O’HAGAN’S in 1294 and of which, nothing remains but the cemetery, the ancient burial-place of the clan of O’HAGAN and more recently of the family of LINDESAY; a remarkable tomb is erected to the memory of “Robert LYNDSAY, Chiefe Harbeger to y King James.”
a parish in the union and barony of Dungannon on the road from Dungannon to Stewartstown and on the Tyrone canal; containing, with part of the post-town of Coal-Island 4106 inhabitants. This parish comprises 4461¼ statute acres, of which 26 are under water; the surface is remarkably undulating and the soil various; that part which is under tillage is generally productive of good corn crops and flax. At Derryvale is a large green for bleaching linen-cloth, where about 30,000 pieces are annually finished for the foreign and English markets and at Coal- Island and Newmills are extensive iron-works, forges, and plating mills, for the manufacture of spades, shovels, edge-tools &c. At Coal-Island also, are 2 large establishments for the manufacture of fire-bricks, pots for glass-houses and crucibles, one of which was established in 1834 by 2 English gentlemen from Stourbridge; the greater part of the goods manufactured here are for the home trade. There are extensive coal-works, earthenware manufactories and many other trades dependent on the above, all in full operation and productive of great benefit to this part of the country. The surrounding scenery is interesting and the land is well planted; among the principal seats are Lisdhue, Bloomhill, Drumreagh, Torren Hill, Beech Grove, and Derryvale.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Armagh and in the patronage of the Lord Primate; the tithe rentcharge is £150. The glebe-house was built about 1791, at a cost of £813 British, of which £100 were a gift from the late Board of First Fruits. The old church was destroyed in the war of 1641; in the 15th of Charles II. this parish was episcopally united to that of Drumglass and Tullanisken church remained in ruins until 1792, when Primate ROBINSON dissolved the union and erected the present church at Newmills, on the site of the ancient one. It is a plain building with an embattled square tower and was built at a cost of £553 British, of which £461 were a gift from the beforementioned Board, £35 were raised by parochial assessment and the residue by private subscription, in 1823 a gallery was added at an expense of £73, of which £40 were subscribed by individuals, the residue being raised by parochial assessment. In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish is one of 3 forming the district of Drumglass and has one small chapel. Near Lake Farlough is an ancient mansion named after it, distinguished as occupying the site of Tyrone’s favourite camp and a little westward from Tullanisken church, on the northern bank of the Torren, is a large and well fortified encampment thrown up by Turlogh O’NIAL. In the churchyard is a venerable ash-tree, measuring 29 feet in circumference ; near Drumrea is a valuable sulphureous spring, said to be highly beneficial in scorbutic cases. DUCART, the celebrated engineer, resided for some years in this parish and under his direction the aqueducts, bridges &c., of the canal, were constructed, by the Board of Inland Navigation : a remarkable aqueduct constructed under his direction still remains entire, near Newmills.
a parish in the union of Strabane, partly in the barony of Raphoe, county of Donegal but chiefly in that of Strabane, county of Tyrone, 1 miles (S. S. W.) from Strabane; containing, with the village of Claudy and part of the town of Strabane 7662 inhabitants. This parish, comprising 14,489½ statute acres, is bounded on the north-west by the rest of the county of Donegal and is situated for the most part between the rivers Finn and Mourne, which uniting at its northern extremity, form the Foyle. The greater portion of the land is remarkably fertile and under its present improved treatment, produces crops of all kinds of grain; there is abundance of limestone, which is extensively used both for building and agriculture; the bogs are increasing in value and the mountains afford excellent pasturage. The inhabitants combine, with their rural employments, to which most attention is given, the manufacture of linen-cloth; a large mill has been built at Seeir, upon the Mourne river, for the spinning of linen-yarn. The produce of the soil finds a ready market at Strabane and much of the grain is sent to Derry by the river Finn, in barks of from 60 to 80 tons burthen. At the northern extremity of the parish is a bridge of 12 arches over the Foyle, leading to Lifford; another near the church, over the same river, leads to Donegal and at Bridgetown, a 3rd of light arches over the Mourne connects the parish with the main part of the thriving commercial town of Strabane. It is partly within the manor of Strabane and partly within that of Ardstraw, for the latter of which a court is held once a month at Castlederg. The vale of Urney is among the most fertile and highly cultivated parts of the county ; the houses are, in general, well built and have gardens and orchards attached to them; those of the higher classes are embellished with flourishing plantations. The principal seats are Urney Park, the residence of the GALBRAITH family; Urney House, Fyfinn Lodge, Galany, Ballyfatton and Castletown.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry and in the patronage of the Bishop; the tithe rent-charge is £525. The old glebe-house having been accidently burnt, a new one was erected in 1798, during the incumbency and at the sole expense of the late Dr. FOWLER Bishop of Ossory, who did not charge his successor in the living with any portion of the outlay. The glebe, of 286 Cunningham acres, is in 2 portions, one, on which the glebe-house stands, contains 83 acres on the banks of the Finn, from the inundations of which river it is protected by an embankment 12 feet high and nearly a mile long; the other, called Rabstown, is let to tenants. The entire glebe is valued in the Commissioners books at about £300 per annum. The church, in the vale of Urney, a handsome edifice in the Grecian style, built in 1734, underwent a thorough repair in 1809. The right of nomination to the perpetual cure of Skirts, or Derg, belongs to the incumbent of this benefice. In the Roman Catholic divisions the parish is the head of a district comprising this parish and that of Skirts. There are places of worship for Presbyterians at Somerville and Alt, in connexion with the General Assembly. Andrew SPROULE Esq. in 1801, bequeathed £1000 to the rector and churchwardens for ever, in trust for the poor of the parish; the interest is annually distributed in winter clothing. The Hon. and Most Rev. Dr. BERESFORD, Archbishop of Tuam, the Right Rev. Dr. FORSTER, Bishop of Kilmore and the Right Rev. Dr. FOWLER, Bishop of Ossory, were successively rectors of Urney.